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# Managing the Wildlife Protected Areas in the Face of Global Economic Recession, HIV/AIDS Pandemic, Political Instability and Climate Change: Experience of Tanzania

Written By

Jafari R. Kideghesho and Tuli S. Msuya

Submitted: February 21st, 2012 Published: August 8th, 2012

DOI: 10.5772/51335

From the Edited Volume

## Protected Area Management

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## 1. Introduction

World Conservation Union [1] defines a protected area as: “An area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means.” Protected areas are intended to meet one or more of the following purposes: scientific research; education; wilderness protection; preservation of species and genetic diversity; maintenance of environmental services; protection of specific natural and cultural features; tourism and recreation; sustainable use of resources from natural ecosystems; and maintenance of cultural and traditional attributes[1]. Each of these management purposes is related to a category of protected areas i.e., groups of protected areas assigned to cater for specific purpose or objective.

Along with other benefits associated with protection and maintenance of biodiversity, justification for the establishment of protected areas in many developing countries indicates a bias on economic rather than ecological benefits. Many protected areas are established because of their economic potential. They generate significant multiplier effects across a national economy, and offer considerable economic value to the livelihoods of the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of society. They create investment opportunities and employment. Essentially, protected areas are recognized as important vehicle towards poverty reduction and sustainable development [2,3]. The most important avenue through which protected areas contribute significantly to local and national economy is through tourism industry. Protected areas are cherished as the key tourist destinations offering a variety of attractions to domestic and international visitors. They are also important hunting grounds catering for international tourists and residents. Essentially, both consumptive and non-consumptive forms of tourism are recognized as important economic engine and a development strategy for many developing countries [4-6]. It is the largest in terms of contribution to the global GDP and second, after agriculture, in provision of employment [7].

The ability of protected areas to provide multiple benefits to humanity is, however, compromised by numerous factors causing overexploitation of species, habitat destruction, pollution and introduction of exotic species. Globally, there is a growing trend of biodiversity loss and an increase of species threatened with extinction. For example, of the 44,838 species included in the 2008 IUCN Red List database, about 17,000 (38%) were threatened with extinction. Comparison of the IUCN Red Lists for 1996 and 2008 indicates that the number of species threatened with extinction had grown [8,9]. In Southern Africa, poachers and organized criminal gangs, who supply the lucrative international ivory and rhino-horn markets, are reported to have caused significant negative ecological impacts on rhino and elephant. According to report, many parks in South Africa were experiencing a growing trend of rhino poaching. For example, between 2001 and 2006 about 70 rhinos were killed in Kruger National Park alone [10]. The most known and documented factors leading to these trends include human population growth, poverty, failure of conservation – as an alternative form of land use - to compete effectively with forms of land uses that are ecologically destructive, and inability of legal economic benefits from protected areas to offset the conservation related costs incurred by local communities through property damage, wildlife-related accidents and numerous opportunity costs.

Multiple benefits derived from the protected areas and growing threats facing them have prompted a dramatic increase of land under protection globally (Figure 1). Essentially, the protected areas are increasingly being acknowledged as the most effective tools for conservation of biodiversity – genes, species and ecosystems. The 2010 World Database on Protected Areas Annual Release [11] indicates that over 160,000 protected areas covering over 21 million square kilometres of land and sea have been established to date. Of these, terrestrial protected areas exceed 12% of the Earth’s land area and marine protected areas occupy about 6% of the Earth’s territorial seas. In recent years, the protected area coverage has been adopted as an indicator to measure the policy response to biodiversity loss in different countries. Efforts by governments and civil societies to conserve biodiversity are measured by the increased land and sea areas put under protection. The use of protected area coverage as an indicator is in line with the CBD’s 2010 target of achieving a significant reduction of the rate of biodiversity loss [12].

The effectiveness of protected areas as the leading strategy in global efforts of stemming loss of biodiversity is, however, being challenged. It is argued that the effectiveness of the existing and the current pace of the establishment of the new protected areas can hardly reverse the current trends of biodiversity loss [14]. The deficiencies of the protected areas undermining their conservation goals include:

• The slow rate of expanding the protected areas to cope with the current threats of biodiversity;

• Inability of the protected areas to overcome all threats: The roles of protected areas can effectively mitigate the problems of species overexploitation and habitat loss, but has limited capacity to overcome other stressors, such as climate change, pollution, and invasive species;

• The increasing need for human development at the expense of wildlife habitats and species thus, creating conflicts with conservation goals;

• Insufficient size and connectivity of protected areas and, consequently, failure to sustain viable populations and allow exchange of genetic materials between individuals;

• Inadequate funding of the protected areas which undermines their effective management. Annual estimate for effective management of protected areas is $24 billion — four times the current expenditure of$6 billion [14].

The failure of protected areas in their conservation role is worsened by issues, which unfortunately are inadequately documented in literature as they have only emerged recently or they were existing but were not recognized as potential threats. Because of their freshness, their attention in conservation literature and policies has been minimal. This chapter seeks to examine these emerging issues in order to increase public awareness on impacts associated with these issues and stimulate feasible and sustainable interventions from different actors.

## 2. Framing the issue

Human population growth and poverty are regarded as the underlying causes for biodiversity loss in protected areas through overexploitation of natural resources, habitat destruction, introduction of exotic species and pollution. However, behind these causes, there are numerous factors determining their magnitudes and impacts on natural resources. While the impacts of numerous factors on conservation and protected areas are well established in literature, the impacts for some have remained insufficiently documented, most likely because they have only recently emerged and/or recognized as threats to conservation. The factors whose impacts on conservation and protected areas are minimally acknowledged in literature include global economic recession, climate change, HIV/AIDS pandemic and civil wars. Global economic recession may generate poverty at, national and household levels and, consequently, affect the conservation sector and protected areas management by reducing funding and increasing human pressure on species and habitats. Similarly, HIV/AIDS pandemic may cause overexploitation of species and destruction of habitats when the victims remain with limited options to meet their livelihood strategies and medicinal needs. Impacts of climate change can be manifested through food insecurity and poverty, effects on species and habitats and worsening human-wildlife conflicts. Political instability cause poverty as people can hardly work to earn their living in a warfare environment. On the other hand, wars cause an influx of refugees and, therefore, contribute to human population growth. The high human population creates more demand for natural resources at the expense of species and habitats. In light of the scenarios mentioned here, it is apparent that these factors have notable ecological impacts on conservation sector and protected areas, in particular. It is, therefore, imperative that they are critically analyzed and brought to the attention of policy makers, conservation planners and public at large. Planning for protected areas should consider these factors as issues of urgency calling for special priority.

## 3. Wildlife conservation in Tanzania and establishment of wildlife protected areas

Tanzania’s conservation history dates back to early 1890s when the German Administration enacted the first Wildlife Law in order to regulate hunting. The British Administration, which took over in 1920 following defeat of the Germans in the World War I, continued to make wildlife conservation a matter of priority. The British regime enacted the first comprehensive wildlife conservation legislation, the Game Preservation Ordinance of 1921. Pursuant to the provisions of this Ordinance, Serengeti was declared a partial Game Reserve in 1921 and elevated to a full one in 1929. The Selous Game Reserve was gazetted as the first game reserve in 1922.In 1921, the Game Department was established to administer the game reserves, enforce the hunting regulations and control the problem animals [15].

In gazetting the protected areas, precautions were taken by colonial administrators in Tanzania not to infringe on African rights as this could lead to political instability of the colony. However, pressure for more restrictive and prohibitive conservation laws along with setting aside more lands exclusively for conservation came from Europe, spearheaded by the London-based Society for Preservation of Flora and Fauna of the Empire (SPFFE) and other powerful conservation lobby. In 1930, the Society sent Major Richard Hingston to investigate the needs and potential for developing a nature protection programme in Southern and Central Africa. One of the recommendations by Hingston was based on formalizing a more restrictive category of protected areas (i.e. national parks). Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and Selous were proposed as ideal for the purpose of creating national parks in Tanganyika [16, 17]. The main criterion employed to rate an area’s suitability as a national park was assurance that the area was unsuitable for Europeans’ economic activities such as mining, livestock keeping and crop production.

Hingston’s recommendations provided a basis for agenda of the 1933 London Convention on wildlife. All signatories (including Tanganyika) were required to investigate the potentials of creating a system of national parks. Colonial administrators in Tanganyika remained adamant for seven years, a situation that caused serious accusations from Europe that the colony was the worst offender in encouraging slaughter of game by the natives. These pressures paved the way to the first Game Ordinance that gave the governor a mandate to declare any area a national park. The Ordinance, enacted in 1940 repealed the 1921 Ordinance. Serengeti National Park was established in 1940 but remained a ‘park in the paper’ until 1951 as there was weak enforcement of regulations and laws governing the national parks.

Restrictive and prohibitive laws made the four decades of conservation under British rule be manifested by conflicts and resentment from the natives. For example, the Maasai tribe in eastern Serengeti resented the proposed park boundaries through violence and sabotage/vandalism. Their retaliatory response involved spearing of rhinos, setting fires with malicious intent and terrorising civil servants [17]. The Ikoma tribe of western Serengeti declared daringly that they would kill any wildlife ranger who would attempt to stop them from hunting and obtaining resources from Serengeti National Park.

As Tanzania was about to attain her political independence, there was a hope among the local communities and a fear among the European conservationists. The natives perceived independence as an end to stringent conservation laws that infringed upon their customary rights [16]. The conservationists were worried that political independence would decolonize nature by terminating the conservation efforts, mainly because Tanzanians had low capacity to carry out managerial activities in protected areas [16]. However, conservationists’ fear was dissuaded when the post-colonial government endorsed continuation of colonial conservation policies uncritically. Economic rather than ecological reasons justified this policy choice. The wildlife-based tourism was perceived as a vital economic engine and insurance in case of failure of other economic sectors such as agriculture and minerals and, therefore, the government was not ready to forego this option. Julius Nyerere, the first Tanzanian President, was quoted saying:

 “I personally am not interested in animals. I do not want to spend my holidays watching crocodiles. Nevertheless, I am entirely in favour of their survival. I believe that after diamonds and sisal, wild animals will provide Tanganyika with its greatest source of income. Thousands of Americans and Europeans have the strange urge to see these animals” [18]

It is because of economic potential that land under legal protection has dramatically expanded in the past 50 years of Tanzanian independence. Today, while 55% of 236 countries have less than 10% of their land areas under legal protection [11], Tanzania has gazetted about 30% and 15% of its terrestrial land area as wildlife and forest protected areas, respectively. According to 2005 World Database on Protected Areas, over 11% of protected areas in Tanzania was under IUCN category I and II, 26% under category III - V and 63% under category VI and others [19]. More protected areas have been gazetted or upgraded to higher categories since 2005 and, therefore, these figures do not reflect the recent changes.

 Protected area Size (Km2) Year established Notes Nature Reserves (IUCN Category I) Amani 83.8 1997 Formed from 6 FRs: Kwamkoro, Kwamsambia, Mnyuzi Scarp, Amani Zigi, Amani East & West Kilombero 1,345.1 2007 Formed by merging Matundu, Iyondo and West Kilombero Scarp FRs Nilo 62.5 2007 Upgraded from a FR Chome 142.83 Proposed Was designated as FR in 1951 Magamba 87 Proposed Notified as FR in 1942; was scheduled to be upgraded in April 2010. Mkingu 233.9 Proposed To include Nguru South and Mkindo FRs Udzungwa Scarp 327.63 Proposed Notified as FR in 1929 Uluguru 241.2 2009 Links 3 former FRs: Uluguru North and South and Bunduki ) National Parks (IUCN category II) Arusha 137 1960 Known as Ngurdoto Crater NP until 1967, expanded in 1973) Gombe Stream 52 1968 Jozani Chwaka Bay 50 2004 The only national park in Zanzibar Island Katavi 4,471 1974 Kilimanjaro 755 1973 World Heritage Site since 1987) Kitulo 412.9 2005 Lake Manyara 664 1960 Enlarged 2009: original size 330 km2) Mahale Mountains 1613 1985 Mikumi 3230 1964 Extension in 1975 Mkomazi 3 270 2008 Game Reserve since 1951 Ruaha 22000 1964 Expanded in 2009: original size 10 300 km2 Rubondo Island 240 1977 Game Reserve since 1965 Saadani 1,100 2005 Game Reserve since 1969 Serengeti 14 763 1951 Game Reserve since 1928; Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site since 1981 Tarangire 2 850 1970 Ngorongoro CA 8260 1959 Game Reserve since 1928; Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site since 1981 Some Game Reserves Biharamulo 1,300 1959 Burigi 2,200 1972 Ibanda 294 1974 Ikorongo Grumeti 3 300 1994 Kijereshi 65.7 2001 Kimisi 1,026.23 2002 Liparamba 570.99 2000 Kizigo 4 000 1982 Lukwati 3,146 1997 Lukwika/Lumesule 444 1995 Maswa 2 200 1962 Mkungunero 700 1996 Mpanga- Kipengele 1,574.25 2002 Msanjesi 210 1995 Muhesi 2,000 1994 Muhesi 2 000 1994 Pande Forest 12 1994 Rukwa 4,000 1995 Rumanyika 245 1970 Rungwa 9 000 1951 Saadani 4,000 1995 Annexed to Ruaha National Park in 2009 Selous 50,000 1922 Word Heritage Site since 1982 Swagaswaga 871 1996 Ugalla 5 000 1965 Uwanda 5 000 1971 Ramsar Sites Malagarasi-Moyovosi 32,500 2000 Lake Natron Basin 2,250 2001 Kilombero Valley Floodplain 7,967 2002 Rufiji -Mafia-Kilwa Marine 5970 2004

### Table 1.

The major wildlife protected areas of Tanzania

At the independence there were only three national parks (Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Arusha); nine game reserves and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Today the number has grown to 16 national parks comprising an area of over 42,000 km² (4.4% of the country’s land surface: see Table 1 and Figure 1). Over 30 game reserves have been gazetted along with adoption of three new categories of protected areas. These categories are Ramsar Sites, Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and Nature Reserves. The four Ramsar sites cover about 5.5% of Tanzania’s wetlands. The WMAs have emerged as a key option following the recognition by the Wildlife Policy of 1998 (revised in 2007) [15, 20] that the future of wildlife in Tanzania rests on the ability of wildlife to generate economic benefits to the rural communities who live alongside wildlife, and its ability to compete effectively with other forms of land uses which are ecologically destructive. WMAs are, therefore, established as one of the strategies for implementing community wildlife management in Tanzania. WMAs were first legally formalized through the WMA Regulations of 2002 (revised 2005) and are now formalized in the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2009. Currently 14 WMAs have been designated and 20 others are in the process. The designated WMAs and their locations in brackets include Burunge (Babati), Uyumbu (Tabora), Makao (Shinyanga), IKONA/Ikoma-Nata (Serengeti), MBOMIPA/Pawaga Idodi (Iringa), Mbarang’andu (Namtumbo – Ruvuma), Magingo (Liwale - Lindi), Enduiment (West Kilimanjaro), Ipole (Sikonge, Tabora), Nalika (Tunduru–Ruvuma), MUNGATA/Ngarambe Tapika (Rufiji), Wamimbiki (Morogoro & Bagamoyo), JUKUMU (Morogoro), Kimbanda (Namtumbo) and Chingoli (Tunduru).

## 5. Emerging issues in the management of wildlife protected areas in Tanzania

As pointed out earlier, protected areas are intended to meet a variety of management purposes in order to support human livelihood and development through provision of ecosystem goods and services in a sustainable way. However, numerous ecological, socio-economic and political factors tend to undermine this desire. Of these factors, are the traditional ones, which are sufficiently covered in literature and, those which have emerged just recently. The latter are underrepresented in literature and, therefore, their inclusion in policies and management plans for many protected areas are lacking. Four of these emerging factors include global economic recession, HIV/AIDS pandemic, climate change and political instability. This section examines these issues by pointing out their potential impacts on the management of wildlife protected areas. Relevant examples are drawn from different protected areas of Tanzania.

### 5.1. Global economic recessions

A global economic recession is a period of general economic decline; typically defined as a decline in GDP for two or more consecutive quarters. A recession is typically accompanied by a drop in the stock market, an increase in unemployment, and a decline in the housing market. The World Bank’s Global Development Finance report [22] placed Tanzania along with Ghana, Mali and Mozambique at relatively more risk to shocks associated with global economic recession compared to other African countries. This is due to considerable share of foreign owned banks and heavy reliance of economies on foreign direct investment in these countries [23]. Global economic recession may bear direct and indirect undesirable impacts in the management of wildlife protected areas by exacerbating poverty to people and, therefore, increasing pressure on natural resources. The recession also affects tourism sector which is the main source of revenues required to run the protected areas. Protected areas may also suffer through reduced support from donors, who fund different conservation programmes. Poor funding of the protected areas, consequently, undermine numerous activities and operations such as ecological monitoring, conservation education for local communities and law enforcement. These impacts are briefly discussed below.

#### 5.4.2. Increased poverty and divergence of government priority to strengthen military activities

It is irrefutable that neither individuals nor government agencies and other potential stakeholders can competently concentrate in planning and executing conservation programmes in an environment of war and political turmoil. Furthermore, economic activities can hardly proceed harmoniously in this environment. It is, therefore, likely that most of the people around the protected areas are subjected to hunger and poverty, a scenario which may force them to engage in poaching of wildlife resources from the protected areas. This problem may be simplified by the fact that during the war, law enforcement cannot be conducted efficiently. Experience has also shown that, governments’ priority shifts to political crises, leaving other sectors including conservation unsupported. In some countries such as Rwanda, Uganda, DRC, Mozambique and Southern Sudan, protected areas and wildlife species have been used to support the soldiers through provision of shelter and bush meat. In such situation it becomes very difficult to manage the protected areas.

#### 5.4.5. Human population growth

Civil wars are a major population push factor from areas where wars are waged to areas where peace and tranquility prevail. Tanzania, unlike its neighbours had never experienced the civil wars but the impacts of these wars had been felt in its protected areas and, conservation sector in general. Civil wars and political instability contribute to population growth through influx of refugees. For example, political instability in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1990s caused an influx of more than a million refugees at one time. This had far-reaching effects by causing overexploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation in and around the protected areas located in the western part of the country (including Burigi, Biharamulo, Ibanda and Rumanyika Game Reserves) as expounded below:

#### 5.4.6. Illegal hunting

The prolonged presence of refugees in western Tanzania and possession of sophisticated firearms caused rampant poaching of wildlife species for meat [65 - 69]. Essentially, demand for wild meat has been driven partly by insufficient refugee food rations that failed to supply meat protein [69]. An average number of wild animals which were killed from the game reserves every day to supply animal protein were estimated at 100 [65]. Statistics indicate that majority of the arrested poachers were refugees. In Kagera Region, 87% of arrested poachers in the mid-1990s were refugees [69]. In Ibanda and Rumanyika Game Reserves, refugees arrested as poachers exceeded 60% [65]. Proximity to Great BENACO Refugee Camp made Burigi Game Reserve suffer most. Over 3,000 poachers were arrested in a year period in this Reserve. These illegal activities associated with refugees resulted to a dramatic decline of wildlife species. For, example, animal census conducted by Tanzania Wildlife Conservation Monitoring (TWCM) in Burigi-Biharamulo Game Reserves in 1990 and 1998 indicated that the reserves had lost about 90% of the populations of 13 ungulates (Table 2).

 s/n Animal species 1990Estimates 1998Estimates % loss 1 Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) 229 18 92 2 Eland (Tragelaphus oryx) 878 237 73 4 Impala Aepyceros melampus) 5,130 2,795 56 5 Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest (Alcelaphus lichtensteini) 324 0 100 6 Reedbuck (Redunca redunca) 147 98 33 7 Roan Antelope (Hippotragus equines) 466 15 97 8 Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger) 279 32 89 9 Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekei) 490 0 100 10 Topi (Damaliscus korrigum) 6,399 160 97 11 Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) 822 94 89 12 Warthog(Phacochaerus aethiopicus) 2,628 71 97 13 Zebra(Equus burchelli) 6,552 606 91

### Table 3.

Comparison of 1990 and 1998 wet season estimates for common wildlife species in Burigi-Biharamulo Game Reserves

The impacts of refugees were also noted in Gombe National Park. Numbers of several wildlife species including buffalo, zebra, bushbuck, and duiker (Cephalophus spp.) were reported to have declined notably [69]. Also noted in southern portion of this park was a considerable deccrease of the population of chimpanzee (Pan Troglodyte)attributed to proximity of the area with large Congolese immigrants, who traditionally eat primate meat [69].

#### 5.4.7. Habitat destruction

Along with illegal hunting, refugees had a profound impact on wildlife habitats. Deforestation caused scarcity of fuel resources, land degradation, destruction of water sources and, consequently, encroachment into protected areas. At the peak of the Rwanda refugee crisis, daily consumption of firewood for camps in the Kagera region alone was about 1,200 tons [66]. Generally, an average of 300 metric tons of fuel wood were consumed per day in 1997 [65]. The impacts of deforestation extended up to 20km away from the camps. Destruction or deforestation in BENACO area was estimated at 960 km2 of land. Aerial photos of the affected region taken in 1996 showed that some 225km2 and roughly 470km2 of land were completely and partially deforested, respectively [65].

## 6. Conclusion and the way forward

The reviews presented in this chapter provide unquestionable reality that global economic recession, climate change, HIV/AIDS pandemic and political instability are potential factors, among many others, that undermine the efforts geared towards the management of the protected areas. There is direct and indirect links between these issues and loss of wildlife habitats and species in many protected areas. It is, therefore, imperative that these issues are accorded adequate priority by mainstreaming them into policies and management plans of the protected areas and conservation agencies. The effective strategies for addressing these issues should be developed and form a part of management plans for protected areas. The following are some specific recommendations for each of the issues.

### 6.1. Economic recession

The financing of protected areas in Tanzania heavily relies on international tourists and donors. However, as shown earlier, these sources are vulnerable to a number of factors including global economic recessions. Unfortunately, Tanzania lacks preparedness mechanisms to offset the effects of economic recessions in protected areas. This deficiency should be addressed. The possible approach is to establish the sustainable financing mechanisms that will guarantee the continued existence and integrity of the country’s protected areas. The following actions adopted from Runyoro and Kideghesho [25] are recommended:

• Development of the “Conservation Trust Fund”. Trust funds have been established in many developing countries over the past decade as a way of providing long-term funding for protected areas. Trust funds are typically legally independent institutions managed by independent boards of directors and have a permanent endowment that is supported through grants.

• Tanzania should be promoted together with other East African Community countries as one tourism destination and an elaborate and sustainable tourism for domestic, regional and African Continent citizens should be promoted and encouraged to visit Tanzania’s attractions more frequently as much as the government commits itself to improving infrastructure and services along with mainitaining peace and tranguility.

• The development of a revenue retention scheme similar to that of Selous Game Reserve that would increase the local capacity of the conservation agencies to manage the protected areas under their jurisdiction.

• The Government of Tanzania should consider relieving taxing government organizations entrusted to manage the protected areas in order to improve the tourism industry as the act of taxation has become a burden and an impediment to ensuring high class conservation of these resources.

### 6.2. Climate change

The problem of climate change and its potential impacts on protected areas can be addressed by adoption of a variety of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The possible strategies include:

• The protected area and conservation managers should be familiar and understand the importance and relevance of climate change and adaptation. This may necessitate capacity building through offering training that will equip the managers with relevant skills and knowledge. This will enable them to critically analyze the current exposure to climate shocks and stresses, and provide a model-based analysis of future impacts of the problem. Capacity can be developed through: briefings; training materials; short courses for staff and partners; and regular knowledge and information exchange between staff and partners working in different sectors and in ‘lessons learnt’.

• Protected area and conservation managers in collaboration with other stakeholders should work out the strategies for reducing vulnerability to climate change as one of the priority agenda. To this end, the protected area managers, conservation agencies and other stakeholders must focus on building adaptive capacity, particularly to the most vulnerable people; and, in some cases, on reducing exposure or sensitivity to climate impacts. The precaution should be taken to ensure that development initiatives do not inadvertently increase vulnerability. Effective reduction of vulnerability will reduce much of the pressures in protected areas from the people who would look at protected areas as the only possibility for their survival.

### 6.3. HIV/AIDS pandemic

The damaging impacts of HIV/AIDS pandemic on conservation sector and protected areas prompts the need to rank this challenge among the top priorities in the management plans of the respective protected areas. The following actions should be observed:

• The protected area managers and conservation agencies should mainstream HIV/AIDS into their policies and management plans. UNAIDS and World Bank [72] define mainstreaming HIV/AIDS as the process that enables the actors to address the causes and effects of HIV/AIDS in an effective and sustained manner, both through their usual work and within their workplace. It means “wearing AIDS glasses” while working in all sectors and at all levels. Essentially, mainstreaming HIV/AIDS means all sectors determining: the ways through which they may contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS pandemic; the ways in which the epidemic is likely to affect their sector's goals, objectives and programmes and where their sector has a comparative advantage to respond to and limit the spread of HIV and to mitigate the impact of the epidemic[73].

• Ensure that all factors driving the HIV/AIDS epidemic such as poverty and gender inequalities are sufficiently addressed by the management authorities of the protected areas, conservation agencies and the government. This may involve developing policies that address gender equality and human rights along with adopting sustainable poverty reduction strategies that will strengthen people’s livelihoods and therefore preempt the need to obtain resources from protected areas illegally and unsustainably.

• Mobilizing the public and private stakeholders to actively take part in the implementation of strategies aiming at fighting the epidemic in and around the protected areas. The strategies, among others, should include promotion of high level advocacy and education on HIV/AIDS pandemic, protection of human and communal rights of people infected and affected with HIV/AIDS, enhancing health care and counseling of HIV/AIDS patients, ensuring the welfare of the bereaved orphans and survivors of HIV/AIDS victims and handling of social, economic, cultural and legal issues related to this epidemic.

1. When the problem of refugees arises, the government and other stakeholders should work out the logistics to distribute the refugees to different parts of the country in order to minimize pressure on resources and habitats caused by concentration of refugees in one place.

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Written By

Jafari R. Kideghesho and Tuli S. Msuya

Submitted: February 21st, 2012 Published: August 8th, 2012